Obafemi Awolowo Biography: Basic Must-Read Facts

Biography of Obafemi Awolowo

Chief Obafemi Awolowo
Chief Obafemi Awolowo

Chief Obafemi Awolowo was born in 1909 in Ikenne-Remo of Ogun State.
He was a trader and soon became the Secretary of the Nigerian Workers Union.

He travelled to London to study law and there he formed along with other Ngerians the Egbe Omo Oduduwa, a social and cultural organization for the Yorubas in diaspora.

In 1954, he and some other prominent Western Nigerians formed the Action Group which was to become the ruling party in Western Region, and Chief Awolowo, the Premier( local Prime Minister) of the region (1954-59).

Obafemi Awolowo political ideology favoured good governance, democracy and socialism and federalism.

In 1962, he was charged with treasonable felony by the NPC-controlled Federal Government and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment——–why? The FG claimed that he was plotting with the Ghanian authorities to overthrow the Balewa Government——— by that time, however, he was only ” the official Leader of the opposition”.

He was later releases in 1967 by the Gowon Regime, at the outbreak of a national crisis that will turn out to be a civil war. He was appointed as Finance Commissioner and Vice-Chairman of the Federal Executive Council, by the Gowon Regime, to defend Nigeria’s unity.

Character of Obafemi Awolowo: 2 Things Every Nigerian Should Learn

(1) Love for the people: Wherever he was, he served the people to his best. In Western Region, he spear-headed compulsory primary education that makes you to see majority of Yoruba as educated.

His administration also established, Western Nigeria Television the first television station in Africa beating even several European countries.

Majority of his economic policies were funded by the cocoa economy of the Western Region ably represented by the Cocoa House, Ibadan.

It is my opinion, that if he has been appointed Prime Minister by winning majority of seats in “the House” in 1959 or 1964 (if not arrested by then) or elected as Nigeria’s President in 1979 or 1983, he would have done the same for the Nigeria.

Awolowo is the best president Nigeria never had—-General Chukwuemeka Ojukwu (rtd), Biafra secessionist leader, in his tribute to Chief Awolowo.

(2)Vision: He knew the Nigeria he wanted to see and he worked towards it via AG and even the later Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN). Many of his party members shared his ideology as was seen in their governance notable among them: Alhaji Lateef Jaknde (Former Lagos State Governor 1979-83), Chief Anthony Enahoro (Former member of the Nigeria’s House of Reps 1956) and even Prof Ago Adebanjo (Former Second Republic lawmaker and present Yoruba leader)

Quotes of Chief Obafemi Awolowo

Employ your time in improving yourself by other/men’s writing ,so that you shall gain easily what others laboured hard for.

I do not want the children of my drivers to be the drivers of my children,neither do I want the children of my cooks to be the cooks of my children. Nevertheless, I want free access to education for all.

Chief Obafemi Awolowo Books

  1. Voice of Wisdom
  2. Voice of Reason
  3. Voice of Courage
  4. Path to Nigerian Freedom (1947) etc.


Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia (2021, May 5). Obafemi Awolowo. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Obafemi-Awolowo

What's Your Opinion On This?